• Resources
  •   >  Disability help by state
Disability help by state

New Hampshire Disability Benefits: Qualify, Apply, and Get Approved

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
June 2, 2023  ·  9 min read
Why trust us?

Atticus offers free, high-quality disability advice for Americans who can't work. Our team of Stanford and Harvard trained lawyers has a combined 15+ years of legal experience, and have helped over 10,000 Americans apply for disability benefits.

See if you qualify

In 2022, approximately 50,000 New Hampshire residents received disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Even though the application process may seem intimidating, they’re proof that you can successfully complete the application and win benefits.

To help, this guide will explain who is eligible for benefits, how the disability application process works, and the monthly benefit payments you may receive.

What New Hampshire disability program should I apply for?

There are no New Hampshire state disability benefits, but you can apply for federal disability benefits if you don’t already have a private insurance policy. If you live in New Hampshire, you may be able to qualify for one of the following programs:

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): The federal government oversees SSDI. It’s a program for people with a long work history who can’t continue working because of a health condition. You’re likely to meet SSDI’s requirements if you’ve worked at least five of the last 10 years. SSDI’s benefits amounts are based on the income you’ve earned and the taxes you’ve paid, which is why they’re the largest of any program. You’ll also get Medicare health insurance.

  2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI): The federal government also oversees SSI. It’s a program for people who’ve never worked or haven’t worked enough to qualify for SSDI — including children and older Americans. To be eligible, you must have limited income and assets. You’ll also receive health insurance through Medicaid.

  3. Veterans disability benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) oversees its own benefits program, specifically for active duty and retired veterans who can’t work because of an injury they sustained during their service. You can receive SSDI and SSI benefits while you receive benefits from the VA. Learn how Atticus can help you with VA benefits.

  4. Long-term or short-term private disability insurance: Many employers offer a private disability insurance plan, but you can also purchase one directly from an insurance company. If you had your plan before you had to stop working, you can qualify to file a claim. You may receive months or years of payments worth up to 60% of your former paychecks. Your insurer may require you to apply for SSDI even if you qualify for long-term benefits through your plan.

The most likely programs you’ll qualify for if you’re a New Hampshire resident with disabilities are SSDI or SSI, so the remainder of this guide will focus on helping you apply for those programs. Our guide to the types of disability benefits can help you learn more about the other programs.

Skip the reading. See which benefits you qualify for in 2 minutes or less.

How to qualify for disability in New Hampshire

To qualify for disability benefits, you’ll have to meet two sets of SSA criteria. The first is the medical criteria, which are the same for both SSDI and SSI. The second is the technical criteria, which are program-specific.

Medical qualifications for disability benefits

SSDI and SSI share two distinct medical requirements: You must have a disability or medical condition that prevents you from working and will impact you for at least a year. As proof, the SSA will require medical documentation from your healthcare providers.

You can also use the SSA’s compassionate allowance list to more quickly qualify for benefits if you have a severe or terminal condition.

Your age also plays a role since the SSA has more lenient rules for applicants over the age of 50. If you’re at least 50, you only need to prove that you can’t keep doing the kinds of work you already do. If you’re under age 50, the SSA needs proof that your condition prevents you from doing any type of work — even if you retrain.

Technical SSDI qualifications

To qualify for SSDI, you must meet two basic criteria:

  1. You’re 66 years old or younger (below your full retirement age).

  2. You have enough SSA work credits, meaning you’ve paid enough taxes into Social Security. You’re more likely to qualify if you’ve worked at least five of the last 10 years. To see how many work credits you have, create a free account on SSA.gov.

Learn more in guide to SSDI eligibility.

Technical SSI qualifications

To qualify for SSI, you must meet the income and asset limits:

  1. Have less than about $900 of monthly income.

  2. Have few personal assets (such as savings) of less than $2,000 for single individuals and $3,000 for married individuals.

Learn more about eligibility for SSI.

Conditions that qualify for disability in New Hampshire

The SSA maintains a list of qualifying health conditions for which they frequently award disability benefits. But don’t worry if your condition is not on that list. As long as your condition keeps you from working and will do so for at least a year, you can win benefits.

According to recent SSA data, the New Hampshirites who currently receive disability benefits have the following conditions:

  • Mental health conditions: 52.5%

  • Musculoskeletal disorders: 21.4%

  • Neurological (nervous system) disorders: 8.7%

  • Cardiovascular (circulatory system) disorders: 3.9%

  • Injuries: 2.6%

  • Cancers (neoplasms): 2.5%

  • Respiratory conditions: 2%

  • Endocrine disorders: 1.5%

  • Digestive system disorders: 1.3%

  • Genitourinary disorders (kidney disease): 0.7%

  • Congenital anomalies (birth defects): 0.5%

  • Infectious and parasitic diseases: 0.4%

  • Other qualifying conditions: 0.2%

  • Hematological (blood) disorders: 0.1%

  • Skin conditions: 0.1%

For New Hampshire disability recipients who have a mental health condition, these are the most common:

  • Depression, bipolar disorder, and related disorders: 10,425 people

  • Intellectual disorders: 3,315

  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders: 2,075 people

For more help, read our article on getting disability for mental illness.

How to apply for disability in New Hampshire

To apply, start with the main SSI and SSDI application. You’ll also need to complete some supplementary forms, like the work history report, which details your work experience, and the function report, which explains how your condition affects your daily life.

You may get requests from the SSA for more forms or medical information as they review your application. You can complete these forms yourself, or you can work with a disability lawyer to fill out the application.

If you need help applying for someone else, you can also use our guides to applying for disability on behalf of a child or applying for a loved one.

How should I prepare my application?

To prepare your application, set aside plenty of time. It can easily take one to two hours to complete the application, plus the time you need to gather necessary medical documents and records. A lawyer can make the process simpler, but there are some steps you should know:

  • Prepare all your personal records. This includes medical records, treatment forms, bank account information, work and income history, and contact information for your healthcare providers. More documentation is always better.

  • Make sure to fill out the whole application. If you haven’t answered every question or every form, your application may hit processing delays.

  • Answer questions honestly and consistently. Be honest about your condition and its impacts, including pain levels and symptoms. This will ensure that your medical and supplemental forms match the responses in your application. The SSA will look for inconsistencies in your answers.

  • Follow up with the SSA right after you submit. Contact the SSA to verify that they’ve received and are processing your application. Your lawyer can do this too.

  • Respond to SSA requests immediately. The SSA will give you 10 days to respond, but following up more quickly will help avoid delays.

Get more help in this step-by-step guide to applying for disability.

3 ways to submit your application

You have three options for submitting your application:

  1. Apply online through the SSA website.

  2. Apply over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213 or your local office.

  3. Apply in person at your local SSA office.

Many applicants like the idea of applying online, but applying in person can be a great option if you choose to apply on your own. SSA employees can answer questions you have and explain what the application questions are asking. However, only a lawyer can give you personalized legal advice, which includes whether or not your answers are strong and which details you should include or exclude.

Further reading: What Do Disability Lawyers Actually Do?

Getting help with the application

To get help with the application, consider working with a lawyer. They can make your responses stronger, complete the application for you, communicate with the SSA, and appear for any court hearings. A good lawyer also won’t charge you anything until after you win benefits, meaning you get the help you need right now without having to worry about another bill yet.

We at Atticus are a law firm, which means we can provide advice on filling out your application and finding the right lawyer for your case. To get help today, fill out our free 2-minute disability benefits quiz.

What happens after I apply for disability?

After you apply, The SSA will review your application to confirm that you meet the technical requirements for SSDI or SSI. Your state’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) will work to verify that you’re eligible medically.

As part of this process, you may need to do a phone interview with the SSA or visit a DDS doctor for a quick consultative exam.

This may all sound simple, but the wait for a decision is six months on average, as of early 2023.

Your chances of getting approved for benefits

Most applicants should expect to go through a few rounds of denial and appeal before receiving a final decision from the SSA. Your chances of success do increase after a few appeals though. 

The SSA rejects 70% of initial applications. Applicants can then file for reconsideration, but the SSA rejects 90% of those reviews. If that happens, you can appeal to request a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ).

Many applicants are nervous about a hearing, but appearing in front of a judge actually offers the best chance of success for most people. In 2022, more than half of the applicants who made their case in front of a judge won benefits.

People who work with a lawyer at the hearing stage are also three times more likely to win. Learn more about the chances of winning your disability appeal.

How long does it take to get disability benefits in New Hampshire?

As of March 2023, the average New Hampshire applicant waited a little over two years — 28 months to be exact — from the time they applied until the time they were approved. This is slightly longer than the average wait in the United States.

Most applicants experience long wait times because they go through multiple rounds of appeal. The average wait time for each round in New Hampshire is:

  • Initial decision: 6.1 months (184 days)

  • Reconsideration decision: 6.1 months (183 days)

  • Wait time for a hearing: 13 months (plus 1-3 months to get a decision)

It’s important to note, though, that wait times vary by hearing office. Your actual wait time will come down to which hearing office oversees your application. There is only one hearing office in New Hampshire, and its wait time is below.

Hearing office

Wait time for a hearing


13 months

How to speed up the process

Unfortunately, you can’t speed up the process. Your best option is to avoid delays. Submit your application as soon as you’re ready, then contact the SSA immediately. You can prevent processing delays by staying on top of requests from the SSA.

Your lawyer can also move your application along by following up with the SSA and managing your appeals.

On the bright side, you will be compensated for the wait. Your first disability check will include back pay benefits, which cover the amount of benefits you would’ve received if you’d been approved earlier instead of having to appeal and wait.

Related article: How to Find the Right Disability Lawyer for Your Case

How much are disability benefits in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, disability benefit amounts vary from recipient to recipient. Your check size will vary based on your work history (for SSDI) and your income history (for SSI). You can also receive benefits from SSDI and SSI at the same time.

Estimate your disability benefit amount in just a few steps

We'll use the Social Security Administration's formula to estimate your monthly benefit.

monthly check


Average SSDI payment in New Hampshire

SSDI has a maximum monthly payment of $3,822 in 2024. But New Hampshire residents receive an average of $1,400.88 per month.

Where you live and your specific medical condition have no effect on your benefit amount. Instead, the SSA will consider your income during your career and how much you’ve paid into Social Security.

You can see exactly how much your benefits will be through your SSA.gov account:

For a more in-depth look, here’s how your SSDI payment is calculated.

Average SSI payment in New Hampshire

The average SSI payment for disability recipients in New Hampshire is $586.25 per month, though you can receive up to a maximum of $943 per month in 2024.

To determine your SSI benefit amount, the SSA will subtract any money you have coming in each month from the maximum SSI payment. If, for example, you have no other income, your monthly SSI payment will be $943.

Learn more about what counts as SSI income.

How to find a disability lawyer in New Hampshire

The SSDI and SSI application process is lengthy, but a lawyer can greatly simplify the process for you. Your lawyer can manage your appeals, communicate with the SSA, and handle all court hearings.

This not only makes applying easier but also makes applicants with lawyers more likely to get approved. As you look for a New Hampshire disability lawyer, consider the following factors:

  • Reviews: Positive reviews are great. But what you’re really looking for is a pattern in the negative reviews. Don’t stress a few bad reviews, but keep an eye out for similar, negative feedback. A lawyer won’t win every case, but they should always be respectful and helpful.

  • Communication: Your lawyer may not be in touch during processing periods, but they should be quick to respond to you and the SSA as your case progresses.

  • Primary area of practice: There are many skilled lawyers, but remember that Social Security disability law is unique. Prioritize lawyers who specialize in disability benefits.

  • Location: Every state has the same Social Security disability rules. A local lawyer may be familiar with the judges, but a remote lawyer who consults over the phone is still helpful. A good remote lawyer is better than a bad local lawyer.

Atticus can help you find an experienced lawyer who will make your case a priority and treat you with respect. Start with our free disability benefits questionnaire and we’ll find you a qualified match. You’ll still get to choose whether to work with our lawyers, and you won’t pay anything until after you win benefits.

Ready to get benefits today?

Frequently asked questions about benefits in New Hampshire

How do I qualify for disability in New Hampshire?

To qualify for disability you need to have a condition that prevents you from working for at least a year. You’ll also need to meet certain work history requirements (for SSDI) or be within certain income limits (for SSI). For more on these requirements, read our full write up here.

What conditions qualify for disability in New Hampshire?

Any condition that will prevent you from working for a year or more can qualify for disability benefits. Some of the most common conditions include musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, nervous system diseases, and circulatory system diseases. See our full list of conditions that qualify here.

How long does it take to get approved for disability in New Hampshire?

It takes an average of 6.1 months to get an initial disability decision in New Hampshire. Most people who apply are initially rejected, and need to appeal this decision. If you appeal and go to a hearing, the process takes around two years on average. Read more: How Long It Takes to Get Approved for Disability Benefits.

How much does disability pay in New Hampshire?

The average SSDI payment in New Hampshire is $1,400.88 per month. The average SSI payment is $586.25 per month. What you’ll earn depends on your income, or the amount you’ve historically paid into the Social Security program. Read more on what amount you can expect.

How should I prepare my disability application in New Hampshire?

Answer the application questions truthfully, consistently, and succinctly. You should also ensure that you gather and submit all your medical records with your application. The SSA paperwork can be complicated, so our legal team has written a full guide to the application here.

Does New Hampshire have a state disability program?

No, there is no New Hampshire state disability program. Only five states (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island) have a state program. Residents of New Hampshire can apply for the federal disability programs of SSDI and SSI. Read more about the differences between SSDI and SSI here.

Find disability lawyers near you











Albuquerque, NM

Atlanta, GA

Baltimore, MD

Buffalo, NY

Chicago, IL











Los Angeles, CA

Grand Rapids, MI

Houston, TX

Indianapolis, IN

Jacksonville, FL


New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina





Kansas City, MO

New Orleans, LA

Philadelphia, PA

Phoenix, AZ


South Carolina







Other states


Pittsburgh, PA

San Diego, CA

San Francisco, CA

St Louis, MO

See what you qualify for

How long has your condition made it hard to work?

Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
About Us
  • Mission
  • Careers

At the bottom of many websites, you'll find a small disclaimer: "We are not a law firm and are not qualified to give legal advice." If you see this, run the other way. These people can't help you: they're prohibited by law from giving meaningful advice, recommending specific lawyers, or even telling you whether you need a lawyer at all.

There’s no disclaimer here: Atticus is a law firm, and we are qualified to give legal advice. We can answer your most pressing questions, make clear recommendations, and search far and wide to find the right lawyer for you.

Two important things to note: If we give you legal advice, it will be through a lawyer on our staff communicating with you directly. (Don't make important decisions about your case based solely on this or any other website.) And if we take you on as a client, it will be through a document you sign. (No attorney-client relationship arises from using this site or calling us.)

  • This website is lawyer advertising.
  • Cal. Bar #23984
  • © 2024 Atticus Law, P.C.

Terms | Privacy | Disclaimer